90% of Sales Professionals Do Not Know How To Ask Good Questions…

Updated: Mar 25

Is your team part of the other ten percent – or do you need help with that?


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Studies have shown that 90 percent of seasoned “sales professionals” do not know how to ask good questions or are afraid to ask them. That’s a staggering number: 9 out of 10….!

If, however, you learn how to ask good questions, you can automatically set yourself apart from your competition, and win more business quicker.


Over the years a large number of sales professionals raised with us these following challenges:

  • I feel like I am wasting too much time on opportunities that go nowhere.

  • I cannot seem to get to the right person.

  • Customers say they value service but expect the lowest price.

  • I am ready to close the deal and then something comes up at the last minute to screw it up.

  • My presentations fall on deaf ears.

  • I have trouble getting my foot in the door.

  • I get pushed down to deal with non-decisionmakers.

  • All prospective customers I contact say they are not looking for new vendors, but I know they are not happy with what they have now.

.. and so on


What if these sales professionals had asked the right questions from the start?


Asking the right questions will:

  • Motivate your (prospective) customers to do the talking.

  • Differentiate yourself from your competitors.

  • Demonstrate empathy for your prospective customers.

  • Facilitate a prospective customer’s awareness of his/her needs and help her/him come to his own conclusions.

  • Prompt a prospective customer to recognise the importance of taking action.

  • Discover how a particular company makes a purchasing decision, as well as whom the decision-makers are within the company.

  • Bring to the forefront any potential obstacles that might hinder a potential sale.


Motivate your (prospective) customers to do the talking

This requires that you fight your instincts to demonstrate all of the knowledge you have about your product or industry.


So instead of boring a prospective customer, get her to open up to you by asking intelligent questions and then listening to her answers.


Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, states that you can make a more significant impression on another person in ten minutes if you show interest in that person than if you were to spend six months talking about yourself.


Asking good questions will make your prospective clients feel important.


Demonstrate empathy for your prospective customers.

Establishing yourself as someone who will listen to problems and frustrations will make your clients eager to talk with you.


In our society, we tend to be impatient when discussing problems: We often want to jump to the solutions. customers, however, need first to recognise and understand their problems before they will accept their need for assistance.


By creating an environment where a customer feels you understand him or her, you will gain access to information you would otherwise not be privy to.


Facilitate a prospective customer’s awareness of his/her needs and help him or her come to their own conclusions

Even if it seems clear to you, you cannot tell your prospective customer what his or her problems are. You need to help them go through the process of discovering for themselves the problems and then they will look to you for the solution.


Even those prospective customers who are aware of their problems need you to ask good questions in order to bring that pain to the surface.


The frustration and other feelings that go along with the problems they have encountered will motivate your prospective customers to act, but only if you pinpoint those concerns by asking good questions.


Prompt a prospective customer to recognise the importance of taking action.

Once a prospective customer has uncovered her problems, she will not be hesitant to talk about possible solutions. In fact, she will be eager to discuss how you can help because she will have realized the need to rectify the situation.


Discover how a particular company makes a purchasing decision, as well as whom the decisionmakers are within the company.

All of the questioning techniques that you’ve been taught will not do you any good if you are talking to the wrong person.


By asking good questions and allowing your prospective customers to talk, you will be able to find out who makes the purchasing decisions and how those decisions are made within each particular company. Without this knowledge, relationship-building techniques are useless.


Bring to the forefront any potential obstacles that might hinder a potential sale.

Asking good questions lets you in on the concerns of a prospective customer and his reservations about a purchase.


So What are the Right Questions?

Questions that engage your customers— and channelling that engagement into action.




What, exactly, is a question? Why do we ask them? Why do we answer them? And why are they such a powerful selling tool? We like to think of a question as a truth-seeking missile.


The best way we can create value for our customers, our companies, and ourselves is to get to the truth. Much time and money is wasted by salespeople trying to sell the wrong people the wrong solutions to the wrong problems. As we all know, buyers don’t always tell the truth.


Sometimes they hold back on purpose— to be polite, to get rid of you, to gain some perceived advantage over you, or to protect themselves. More often, buyers don’t tell you the truth because they don’t know it themselves.


Good salespeople use questions to learn something about their buyers. Great salespeople use questions to help buyers learn something about themselves.


To help you and your team be part of the few in the 10%, Fresh Perspective Sales offers a one-day workshop called “The Power of Questioning”, which we’ve successfully delivered to numerous businesses in different industries.


Contact us to make your team be part of the other ten percent!

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